United States

United States

New guide to permitting wind

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A "permitting toolbox" on wind siting issues in the United States has been released by the National Wind Co-ordinating Committee (NWCC). "Permitting of Wind Energy facilities: A Handbook" was developed by the NWCC's siting subcommittee to help state and local government agencies, wind developers, local communities and others make timely and defensible decisions about permitting wind power stations. Armed with the handbook, decision makers should be in a position to ensure any necessary environmental protection and to respond to public needs, thereby avoiding costly court challenges.

The toolbox describes the general features of a wind project and walks the reader through the basic steps in planning, permitting, construction, operation and closure of a wind plant. It also offers principles, processes and concepts that agencies, developers and the public can employ during consideration and oversight of proposed projects. Suggestions are made, too, about dealing with environmental and other issues when permitting wind farms.

"It provides a range of options to successfully address the variety of wind developments issues that may arise in areas with vastly different land uses and demographics such as Texas and Vermont," says handbook co-author Tom Gray, of the American Wind Energy Association.

"From an environmental perspective, we're anxious to see wind power projects move forward as expeditiously as possible, keeping in mind we need to safeguard national resources in the process," adds Bill Grant, chair of NWCC's siting committee and director of the Midwestern office of the Izaak Walton League.

The NWCC, founded in 1994, is a collaborative group with members from the wind industry, government, utilities and environmental groups.

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